a tale of a few cities

Only in Holland……

Posted in Art by petercombe on July 24, 2009


Aerial view, Paul McCarthy’s “Air Pressure”, Mark Vos via Mediacontainer


Ten Inflatable sculptures by Paul McCarthy are on view this summer in the idyllic landscape of the Botanical Gardens of Utrecht University.

A Paul McCarthy collection is currently showing at De Uithof, Utrecht.  ”Air Pressure” features enormous inflatables, a medium new to McCarthy shows in the Netherlands.  Drawn from his series “Inflated Histories,” the pieces in the show are classic McCarthy, as they continue to use pop culture figures and tendencies to satirize mass media.

According to the gallery, the use of the inflatable reflects an inflated society.  Varying in size from four meters to over 24, the inflatables are huge “‘anti-symbols’ of the consumer society.  Santa Claus with Plug, which is along the lines of McCarthy’s similar bronze statue in Rotterdam, is almost 25 meters tall.  The inflatables are, accordingly, accompanied by several new sculptures inspired by icons of everyday consumerist society.   McCarthy deliberately pushed the bounds of decency in his work.  ”In my pieces I like the thought of mixing anarchy and humor,” he has said; such an agenda is evident in Santa Butt Plug, in which the classic figure of Santa Claus is sexualized.

Born in Salt Lake City in 1945, McCarthy studied at USC-LA, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the University of Utah.  He has worked in various media, including performance art and sculpture.  In fact, McCarthy’s use of inflatable sculpture was celebrated at the Middleheim Museum in Antwerp and at the SMAK in Ghent, which exhibited those and other works in 2007.  He has had solo exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth Zürich; Salt Lake Art Center; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Maccarone Gallery, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; London’s Whitechapel Gallery; Tate Liverpool; and more.




Rivka Fogel

UtrechtYourWay, the city’s tourist website, called The Air Pressure exhibition ‘suitable for the whole family!’


2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] Only in Holland…… […]

  2. […] Only in Holland…… […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: